Proverbial Thought for the Day 3 – Watch Your Mouth
“Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.” (Proverbs 4:24, NLT)
If you want to see where society stands right now with “perverse talk and corrupt speech,” take a stroll no further than Netflix or any other streaming app. The language is nothing short of shocking for a Christ follower and, sadly, has infiltrated our own homes in the name of entertainment.
Consider music: Rap/hip-hop music probably tops the charts for offensive language, but even country music has begun to inject milder yet still offensive language into its mainstream. And here’s the thing: the more we hear it and are surrounded by this language, the easier it is for us to adopt this language pattern ourselves.
But we can’t just apply this to swear words and crude jokes. This proverb makes it clear: ALL perverse talk. That means gossip and ridicule; it includes sarcasm and disrespect; and it encompasses the way we speak to and about others. This means that overall, our speech needs to be honest, clean, kind and respectful.
Show me someone who always speaks well of others, never uses profanity, and treats people with genuine kindness, and I’ll show you someone I want to be friends with. People may find those who use profanity and crude jokes funny, but Scripture teaches that this way of speaking is disobedient to God and brings dishonor to His name—and certainly so for a believer.
While it’s true that we can become callous to perverse speech the more we are surrounded by it, it’s also true that if we pray for help in remaining disciplined in this area, God will give the needed help. Resist the urge to swear. Walk away from conversations that include gossip. Refuse to laugh at inappropriate jokes. Don’t participate in bashing others. Turn the channel if the language is inappropriate. Choose different music. Do whatever it takes to eliminate sources that saturate your mind with negativity and perverse speech.
It won’t make you a prude to clean up your language; it’ll make you reflect Christ much better. When we clean up our mouth, it contributes to our overall purity. In fact, what is in our hearts will spill out of us in our speech. That’s a pretty convicting thought, because I’ve certainly exposed my lack of connection with Christ by the words I’ve allowed to leak out.
It’s never too late for us to change, including our speech. Asking God for help in this matter is honorable and right, and when we ask Him with a desire to obey, we will find victory. This victory will tell a story, too—a story of one with a submitted heart to Jesus. And when we submit our hearts, it’ll show through our speech, and will bring honor to our Father in heaven.